Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Harp by Nidhi Dalmia #BookReview

I was thinking I'll have something to read on my way to work, a nice book which as the blurb promised, would take me through India, Europe and USA, and give me a peek into the lives of three young people as they engage with the cultural, sexual and student revolutions, and the music of the sixties.

A story about love, longing and coming of age - I thought I had found my perfect travel companion. The 60 minutes of reading I can sneak into my packed day, I was looking forward to it....

Oh boy, I was not expecting to be turned off, so bad, so fast.

I don't know how to start a review for a book that was so hard to read. Which didn't connect with me on any level despite of my honest efforts. Really, I did give it a try.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

#CreativePoetry Inspired by @austinkleon #NewspaperBlackout

For the last few months, I haven't been doing too well with my writing projects and blogging. With full time work, I feel exhausted by evening and after cooking dinner just feel like unwinding in front of the TV. We've been catching up on Game of Thrones and also binge watching on The Mentalist.

Trying my best to get of out of this writer's block, I have been seeking inspiration anywhere I can find. And that's when I found Austin Kleon's newsletters and discovered how to make a newspaper blackout poem

It is lots of fun and a perfect way to use my travel time. I was a bit iffy sharing these on the blog at first, but here you go. Do let me know, what you think?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

#CanterburyTales A Day trip from London #PhotoFriday

April was a busy month, and a day away from chaotic London was just what the doctor had ordered.

A day away from my 9-5 work routine, a day amidst nature, getting caught in the rain, playing hide and seek with the sun, rejuvenating and getting inspired by medieval history.

So on a wet Saturday afternoon, instead of brooding and staying in in our pyjamas, we decided to hop on to the high speed javelin trains from St Pancras and head to the city that inspired Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic book - The Canterbury Tales.

Friday, April 29, 2016

One Year Living in London

One year. Away from home. New city, new country. 18th April marked the day we left our comfortable nests in India, gathered our belongings, our hearts, and flew to the city of London. I can't believe it is one year already.

The morning after our first step in this vibrant city, I got up to new sights and smells. The spring air, the smell of freshly grounded coffee and bakes, the many heads in business suits hurrying their way into the crowd and out, the busy buskers tuned to their beloved instruments, the disheveled figures hanging on to their dreams from the night before - everything beckoned me to a new adventure. And that's what the past year has been, an adventure, a journey and on the way many lessons. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Building a Home

'Home', the word brings back different meaning for different people, doesn't it? For me, home is not a place but a person. A person with whom you build memories, memories that brick by brick build a home - our lives.

And I have made a lot of memories...First with Dad's transfers, and then with hubby shifting 4 houses in our 4 years of marriage, I have called several places my home. Each home we customized to our needs and tastes - a bookshelf, a green space, a comfortable couch, artifacts collected from our travels, a picture collage of our loved ones - our home decor has always been simple yet elegant.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Other Side (Part 2)

The Other Side (Part 1)

The sun bounces off the shiny backs of the swans as they vainly swim across the lake, away from me. A few ducks gather around as I brood; I talk to them about Elisa, "I have never loved the woman." I say to them, "Yet, it has been fifteen years - living under the same roof, raising two kids, listening to her complaints...dragging, pulling, pushing each other towards a finish line which does not exist. Where did all the time go?"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Other Side

It is 5 minutes past 1:00 pm. I step out of my dreary one bedroom apartment after ages. The February air is still chilly but the sun is out today and I can feel the sunshine caress the back of my bare neck. I suddenly realize my hair is still up in a bun, knotted, tangled from the many sleepless nights; an unweeded garden, not just my hair, my entire being. I remember Hamlet's soliloquy,
 How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable 
  Seem to me all the uses of this world! 
  Fie on't! ah, fie! 'tis an unweeded garden 
  That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature 
  Possess it merely.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

#Cotswolds - Exploring the English Countryside #PhotoFriday

Cotswold is an area in the heart of England which is characterized by the quintessential English villages, that are famous for their antique shops, pubs, tea shops, cobbled streets and pretty cottages. The majority of the Cotswold lies in Gloucestershire but it expands to over five other counties: Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, Warwickshire - thus making the task of exploring the entire region impossible in a single visit.

In late December we set out on a short road trip to explore the English countryside and narrowed down the list of towns that we wanted to visit to - Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter, Burton-on-the-Water and Chipping Camden.

If I can describe this trip in one word, it would be 'magical'. I felt as if time had stood still and we had been transported into a storybook. Peeking inside the golden-brown hued stone cottages, all I wanted to do was get in, sit with a huge mug of hot chocolate at the foot of a stool beside the fireplace and read a classic, like perhaps Wuthering Heights which describes the wild landscapes so hauntingly. Sigh!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Living with Gratitude

A lot has happened in one month. If I can gauge of what's to come by the way January has shaped up, 2016 will be a roller coaster - of emotions, opportunities and challenges. But I am grateful for it all, and that one step towards appreciation and thankfulness will help me grow.

I've been keeping a gratitude journal for the last year and a half, giving thanks for the simple pleasures of life, but at times one feels the need to share, especially when you want to let someone know how grateful you are for being in their lives.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Exploring Amsterdam on Foot #TravelDiaries #blogchatter

Putting our best foot forward in 2016, we landed in Amsterdam on a wet windy Saturday morning. It was a breezy commute from the airport to the Amsterdam Central station but who knew the 10 minutes walk from there to our houseboat would have us soaking wet! We reached Hotelboot Angeline in that haggard state, might we add hungry too, and were immediately put at ease as Daniel, our host, welcomed us in warmly to the cozy houseboat.

Staying in a houseboat in Amsterdam is an experience in itself. You can get an insight into the Dutch way of living and soak in the charming atmosphere around. Some may question this choice of accommodation, especially in winters, but let me tell you, I had the best sleep in ages on this houseboat's comfortable and snugly beds. And 24*7 hot water and heating, free Wi-Fi and a scrumptious spread of breakfast enough to keep us fuelled till late noon, made this a perfect choice for our stay.